Chinese Lantern Festival Opens Saturday


Cary, NC — The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre opens to the public this weekend on Saturday, November 28, 2015. 

A Magical Sight

It was a cold and windy night at Booth Amphitheatre when we previewed the Chinese Lantern Festival, but it was worth it to see the artistry and experience the magical transformation of such a familiar space in Cary. Despite the chill, we took our time wandering through the lights.

Chinese Lantern Festival

This year, Cary starts a new holiday tradition – the Chinese Lantern Festival.

The festival is made up of over 20 displays and hundreds of LED-lit lanterns in all kinds of shapes. You’ll see animals like giraffes, zebras, penguins, insects and a 196-foot dragon.

There are also flowers, Christmas trees, buildings and a huge fan. Many of these lanterns “move,” and some were installed right on the water at Symphony Lake. The displays, which are made from steel and a hand-painted silk-like fabric, were all made in China by 20 artists. The artists have been working seven full days days a week since November 2 to install the show.



Although the NC Chinese Lantern Festival will be known as a holiday event here in Cary, the festival is traditionally celebrated in February or March to mark the last day of the lunar New Year celebration. The lanterns symbolize good fortune and change for the new year.

In ancient times, only emperors had lanterns as extravagant as those you’ll see on display at Booth Amphitheatre, but, today, most are decorated with detailed designs.



Half of the lanterns were already lit when we arrived at the venue, but Mayor Weinbrecht led the crowd in a countdown to light the rest. The mood was festive and the view incredible.






Event Details

NC Chinese Lantern Festival
at Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary

The Chinese Lantern Festival opens Saturday and runs nightly until January 3, 2015. Hours are Sunday-Thursday (6:30 pm-10 pm) & Friday-Saturday (6:30 pm-11 pm).

Tickets: Adults 18+ ($20), Kids 3-17 ($12), Kids under 2 are free.

Find more information online.


Photos by Hal Goodtree.


CaryCitizen is sponsored in-part by Waverly Place.


3 replies
  1. Bob & Mary
    Bob & Mary says:

    A friend invited us. We’d never heard of such an exhibit, but we figured “What the heck,” got our passports stamped, and headed out from to Cary from downtown Raleigh. What wonderful sights! The artistry is spectacular. Well recommended.

  2. John
    John says:

    It’s a very interesting display, but not incredible. When I was there hardly anyone was there. The price is the problem. $20 is way too much. If they went $8 per head, or less, they could fill the place up. But at this price, may be the first and last time it’s here in Cary.

  3. doc thorne
    doc thorne says:

    What great photographs. And what an extraordinary experience. So pleased the festival has come to Cary. A must see!

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